Twist facts to tarnish Rao

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by maomao, Jul 10, 2012.

  1. maomao

    maomao Veteran Hunter of Maleecha Senior Member

    Apr 7, 2010
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    The Congress refuses to accept the contribution of Narasimha Rao as Prime Minister in rescuing Punjab from terror and saving the economy.

    This appears to be the Rao-bashing season. Although the Congress’s ungrateful leaders and the pseudo-secular brigade do not need any specific reason or occasion to run down PV Narasimha Rao’s phenomenal contribution to India, the last fortnight has seen a rash of stories which show the former Prime Minister in poor light.

    The first of these emanate from the autobiography of Arjun Singh, a Congress politician and a “humble follower” of the Nehru-Gandhis. Excerpts from this tome published by the media re-emphasise a well-known political fact of the 1990s — that Singh hated Rao and frequently joined issue with him to please the political family to which he paid obeisance. The autobiography shows Rao in poor light during the crisis leading to the demolition of the Babri Masjid. He says Rao fiddled while the Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992. Singh has also sought to please his mentors by claiming that Rao opposed the appointment of Ms Sonia Gandhi as president of the Congress soon after Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination in May, 1991— as if the opposition was a terrible thing to do.

    The second set of media reports which carries forward this exercise relates to excerpts from yet another autobiography, that of veteran journalist Kuldip Nayar, which is scheduled to be released later this month. These reports quote Nayar as saying that Rao prayed while the Masjid was demolished and the puja ended only after “the last stone had been removed”.

    Whether Rao fiddled or prayed on that fateful day is open to debate, but what is beyond debate is the persistent attempt by the Nehru-Gandhis, their acolytes and pseudo-secularists to paint Rao, one of India’s greatest Prime Ministers, in shades of black.

    This also brings us to what happened at an event to commemorate Rao’s 91st birth anniversary in the capital on June 28. All the top leaders of the Congress stayed away from this event. Even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was inducted into politics and the Union Cabinet by Rao in 1991, failed to turn up. The Prime Minister was supposedly pre-occupied with meetings with Finance Ministry officials.

    Nobody is fooled by the explanation offered by the Prime Minister’s Office. Would Mr Singh ever skip an event to mark the anniversary of Mrs Indira Gandhi or Rajiv Gandhi? A little backgrounder on Rao’s contribution as Prime Minister will help see the current anti-Rao campaign in perspective. When Rao was sworn in as Prime Minister on June 21, 1991, he headed a minority Government because the Congress had won just 232 seats in the Lok Sabha election. He had to depend on the support of several smaller parties to cross the half-way mark. Though short of a majority, he had to take several tough legislative measures, some rather unpopular, in order to open up the economy.

    The so-called socialism of the Nehru-Indira era had resulted in such absurdities that it would seem laughable in today’s context. For example, the manufacture of condoms was largely a Government monopoly, as also the manufacture of telephone instruments. Similarly, most public services including telecommunication, airlines etc. were Government monopolies. When Rao took charge, the country’s foreign exchange reserves had hit rock bottom and the rate of inflation was 13 per cent. The predecessor Government, headed by Chandra Shekhar, had pledged gold to the Bank of England to raise $200 million because India was on the verge of default. The country had just Rs 2,100 crore in foreign exchange — barely enough to meet import bills for a fortnight. Further, Nehru’s socialism and Mrs Gandhi’s vote bank economics (conducting loan melas and offering low-interest loans ostensibly to the poor, but largely to her supporters) coupled with the licence-permit raj and the accompanying corruption had paralysed Indian business and industry. This debilitating policy regime had to be dismantled and the innate entrepreneurial spirit of Indians had to be revived.

    It was in this context that Rao inducted Mr Singh as Finance Minister and gave him a free hand to dismantle the spurious socialist economic regime, which had virtually reduced India to a beggar state. The process began in June, 1991 and by the time Rao demitted office in May, 1996, he had ensured a spectacular improvement in the country’s economic situation. Forex reserves had climbed to over US $ 50 billion and Indian investors, who were shackled by the licence-permit raj of Nehru-Indira era, felt liberated and enthused to invest in industry. The world began looking up to India.

    Rao displayed similar determination to put down terrorism in Punjab and to quell the secessionist movement in that State. Here again, he gave a free hand to Punjab’s Chief Minister and to the police chief, Mr KPS Gill, and retrieved a State that was virtually slipping away from India. The seeds of separatism were sown in Punjab during the tenure of Mrs Gandhi and continued during Rajiv Gandhi’s prime ministership. The latter was clueless on how to retrieve ground in that troubled State. But for Rao’s firmness, Punjab could well have become the first State to secede from India.

    When Rao passed away in 2004, the country’s foreign exchange reserves stood at US $ 140 billion (Rs 6 lakh crore). Yet, Rao’s extraordinary contribution has never been acknowledged by the Nehru-Gandhis. Instead, the family has been mischievously trying to credit the extraordinary achievements of the Rao regime to Rajiv Gandhi by claiming that Rao was only following the policies initiated by Rajiv!

    Those who harp on Rao’s failure to prevent the demolition of the Babri Masjid and refuse to see his phenomenal contribution towards ensuring India’s unity and integrity and to putting it on the road to becoming an economic super power, are only furthering the manufacture of spurious history — an activity that is patronised by the Nehru-Gandhis since yore. For the sake of India and truth, we must remain ever alert to the machinations of this small but influential band of ungrateful people.

    Twist facts to tarnish Rao
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2012
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